Just bought an industrial machine after getting a quote for $6000 to do the Hot Rod's interior (AND that was either vinyl OR fabric! - not leather).
I just wanted to see if anyone else has done up an interior here. I've done interiors, but never gone as far as sewing. Any pics of your work? Any ideas? I've also bought 2 AWESOME books that have been a huge help. I think they are by Don Taylor. One even walks you through the basics on how to use tools even. (a sewing machine is a tool, how I justify it not being a feminine item in the garage )
Now some car buddies around here donated some vinyl when I mentioned I was going to trim in blue they had the color I was going to use. Saved me about $80 there so far - we're trying to complete the car for less than $18k total cost.
I'm going to practice by doing up a seat cover for my Cushman Turf Truckster. I got some cool VERY thick yellow vinylish neoprene and will be painting the truckster John Deere green trimmed with yellow graphics (graphics are another hobby) and call it a "Croc" since Crocodiles are bigger than Alligators (John Deere Gator). I've been wanting to redo the truckster for a while.
Yeah I made a few tank bags out of vinyl and one BIG seat bag out of Coudura. My Dad used to be an industrial sewing machine mechanic and pattern maker and I have a commercial unit in the basement at home - 1hp motor with clutch and brake and it runs at about 90 stitches a second. There is enough power in it to sew through the bone in your finger if you are not careful.
When cutting the material allow a little extra for the seam and use some good thread. ON the tank bags I used monofiliment fishing line and super glued the seams to the clear vinyl top to seal it, making it water tight. Tricky stuff is when you use some beading on the seams, then you need the proper foot to keep everything in alignment as you stitch it. Run some test pieces through the machine first to make sure you have the time and bottom thread tension set properly.
The hardest part for me, when learning how to sew was keeping a straight line Practice on scrap before committing to your good fabric I haven't done anything with a car interior that involved sewing - this is just general stuffs...
If you're doing your own work - totally look into the extra details you'd normally pay a boatload for someone else to do (beading, double stitching, etc.)
Time is the best teacher. Unfortunately it kills all its students.